WARNING: I’m about to reveal my inner midwife! This post contains very frank, blunt, and to the point advice concerning pregnancy, sex, and the inner workings of the female body. If that type of stuff offends you: DO NOT READ THIS. And please do not bitch about it in the comments section. Thank You. :)
I am not a doctor, just a woman who loves being a woman and all that makes women unique and different from men. First and foremost is a woman’s ability to carry and grow a new life within her and, when the time is right, allow that new life safe passage into this world. I have given birth to 5 children and am currently 35 weeks pregnant with child #6, ALL of them have been natural un-medicated pregnancies and deliveries, and nothing in this world has grown me and transformed me more as a person than childbirth has.
This post will be mostly about late pregnancy, especially the last 30 days of pregnancy leading up to the estimated date of delivery.
I have noticed an interesting thing over the almost 12 years since my first birth and that is the many many women who go well past their due dates especially in first time pregnancies. And not only going well past their due dates but giving birth to freakishly large babies as well, mostly due to the extra long time baby spent in “incubation”. I postulate that this occurs for three main reasons:
1. Not enough fat in the diet. Hormones are responsible for initiating labor and keeping it going, the body makes hormones from fat and cholesterol (especially saturated fat, but stay FAR FAR away from trans-fats aka “Partially hydrogenated oils” -usually soybean oil which is also GMO- and the unhealthy foods containing them.. the cakes, the cookies, the crackers etc. etc.. just because they have lotsa fat doesn’t mean they are a legitimate source that your body can adequately utilize, grain products also abnormally “fatten up” babies..and the momma! Stick with mostly meats, eggs, and raw/fermented dairy products for the good healthy fats.) But most women are afraid of fat for fear of getting fat, especially in late pregnancy when they are already feeling ungainly and cumbersome. Oftentimes the body wants to go into labor but there just isn’t enough fat in the diet, especially certain fatty acids, from which the body can manufacture the large amounts of hormones that are needed to initiate labor and so the women goes over her due date.
2. Not enough sex. Sex got the baby in there and sex can help get it out! Regular sex in late pregnancy can go a long long ways towards make sure that baby comes out in a timely manner. Orgasm releases the hormone called oxytocin (stimulation of the nipples also releases oxytocin) which is one of the main hormones that is responsible for initiating labor. Not to mention the fact that semen contains certain hormonal precursors that cause the cervix to ripen and soften allowing quicker and fuller descent of the baby’s head into the pelvis (this has an even stronger effect when semen is ingested btw). Sex and birth are waaaay more inter-related than most people realize, just because you’re feeling huge and unlovely in so late pregnancy don’t let that sway you from regular relations with your husband or significant other, not only will it increase your odds of an on time delivery but is beneficial all around for maintaining a happy relationship during a time of life that can be pretty stressful.
3. Not enough activity. Let’s face it, we live in a sedentary society and unless you make a concerted effort to move.your.body. it just ain’t going to happen in most people’s day to day living experiences. Birth is a VERY physical activity and in order for it to proceed happily and unhindered the body requires a certain level of physical fitness. This doesn’t mean you need to be able to run a marathon or become a power lifter, it just means that you need to be on.your.feet. UP! and walking around for the majority of your waking hours. Through the help of gravity, walking around helps baby get lower and lower into your pelvis and this increased pressure on your pelvic floor is one of the ways in which your body is “signaled” that baby is mature enough (weighs enough) to be born.
As I have said before in a previous post (this one right here) I have been eating a diet higher in protein and fat, higher than what most women eat in our society, since I was 18 years old. I got married 1 month after my 19th birthday and got pregnant with my first child 1 month later. During that whole pregnancy I worked at McDonald’s and got plenty of activity from my job, I also had a small garden that I worked in on a regular basis. Following a 24 hour natural unmedicated labor, I gave birth to my first child 1 day before his due date and he weighed 7 lb. 1 oz.
It was during my second pregnancy, however, that I became HEAVILY interested in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and ALL THINGS midwifery related. I read many many books on the subject, both physical books and much online, during that pregnancy is when I developed my nutritional protocol for pregnancy (this one right here) as well as this late pregnancy protocol which I shall soon share with you. My second son was born 10 days before his due date and weighed 8lb. 4 oz. Also, the amniotic sac remained intact throughout the whole labor up until I pushed his head out and then it broke open.
My third son was born 1 day early weighing 7 lb. 2 oz…. my fourth child (my first daughter) was also born 1 day early weighing 8 lb. exactly…and my fifth child, fourth son, was born 1 week early weighing 6lb. 7 oz. …small he was yes, but perfectly healthy! For ALL of those pregnancies I followed my nutritional protocol as well the late pregnancy protocol. I share all of this to show that I practice what I preach, that I am not just making up something from nothing. I research and try things and I share the things that work for me in hopes that those things might help others.
Beginning 30 days before my due date I start taking these supplements:
1. Borage seed oil capsules standardized to 300 mg GLA, 1300 mg (Gamma linolenic acid) take 1 daily. This is used by the body to make prostaglandins (a type of hormonal precursor) which is then used to make the hormones to initiate labor. This DOES NOT induce labor, it simply gives your body the necessary building blocks to make the labor hormones once the body deems that the time is right.
2. Natural Vitamin E (look at the label, you want d-alpha tocopheryl, synthetic vitamin E is labelled “dL-alpha tocopheryl” and we don’t want that.) 400-1200 i.u.’s daily. This helps with circulation, helping the baby get more oxygen from the blood and preventing varicose veins in momma, along with increasing fatty acid assimilation.
3. Vitamin C at least 500 mg daily but can take up to 10,000 mg, this helps the bag of water stay intact and strong. Don’t want premature rupture of membranes and stalled labor before baby is ready to come out!
And the newest thing I added, I started taking them on October 1st of this year, is Alfalfa tablets (1,000 mg tablets) and I take anywheres from 8-16 a day! They are AWESOME and give me loads of energy, they also seem to reduce the heartburn and constipation that can especially become a problem during the last trimester of pregnancy. I’ve had great results so far and highly recommend them!
Many of pregnancy’s discomforts are alleviated by the use of alfalfa tablets, including morning sickness, heartburn, constipation and anemia. Alfalfa tablets raise the vitamin K level of pregnant women, reducing postpartum bleeding in both quantity and duration, and they increase the vitamin K stores in newborns, reducing bleeding problems for them as well. They support success in lactation because they help increase and sustain milk supply. They frequently help alleviate nausea, almost always relieve constipation, and they bring up red blood counts in a beneficial way. They also seem to help reduce swelling and improve erratic blood sugar levels.
Because alfalfa tablets are very high in vitamin K, they could be dangerous to take for anyone who needs to be on blood thinners such as Heparin. Their use should be stopped temporarily if one gets a urinary tract infection and cut back, at least temporarily, if one gets diarrhea.
People who have very poor bowel flora may have temporary bouts of gas the first week or so when they start taking them, so they should start at a more gradual pace. I have postpartum moms take a few right after the birth to help with blood loss and bowel movements, then not take any more until the fourth or fifth postpartum day, gradually building back up to about four to eight a day depending on diet and need. They can use oat bran tablets if they need to for bowel function in the meantime. The reason for this course is twofold: the degree to which alfalfa promotes lactation can be too much for comfort until engorgement subsides, and newborn jaundice takes longer to go away if the mom is taking alfalfa tablets.
— Excerpted from “The Amazing Alfalfa,” by Lisa Goldstein, CPM, CNM; in Birth Wisdom: Tricks of the Trade Vol III (a Midwifery Today book)
Here are links to the products I usually buy, all of them from Amazon Prime: